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Subject: Hantavirus


From: Marcia A. Watt <libmaw>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 1995
In Cons DistList Instance: 8:44, Susan Hartman <shartman [at] csn__org>

>A patron came in to one of our small libraries asking for help.  She has
>several boxes of books that she received last summer from the southwest
>(Arizona, I believe).  There are mouse droppings in the box and the
>patron is concerned about protecting herself from the hantavirus that is
>carried by the droppings of deer mice.

This information about the Hantavirus is from the Office of Special
Pathogens, Dr. C.J. Peters, Head, in the Centers for Disease Control,
Atlanta, GA.  The answer was written by Ali S. Khan and Sally P. Bauer.

   "Household disinfectants may be used to clean an area possibly
    contaminated by the Sin Nombre virus.  A commercial disinfectant
    such as Lysol or a solution of 2-3 tablespoons of bleach per gallon
    of water may be used.  It is a good idea to wet down the area since
    hantaviruses can be transmitted through the air when dust clouds are
    created by sweeping and other cleaning activities.  Extra precaution
    should be taken to avoid disturbing any droppings or nesting
    material.  A mask and rubber gloves should be worn when dealing with
    possible hantaviral contamination and when handling the cleaning

    As far as cleaning boxes of books containing mouse droppings, a good
    course of action would be: 1) to make a towel damp with the bleach
    or Lysol solution and lightly wipe down the box and books; or 2) to
    spray the box and books lightly with a commercial aerosol
    disinfectant, such a Lysol in a spray can.  If possible, allow the
    box and books to be opened and to sit in a well-ventilated area or
    outdoors.  Again, wear a mask and gloves while handling the box and
    its contents.  Scoop up droppings and place them in plastic bags;
    seal and dispose of the bags.

    For more information on precautions involving hantaviruses, please
    call the CDC Hantavirus Hotline at 1-800-532-9929."

Marcia Watt
Preservation Officer
Emory University Libraries

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:58
                Distributed: Thursday, January 26, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-58-002
Received on Thursday, 26 January, 1995

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